A 16 year old girl was released on bail of EGP 2,000 on Saturday after being sentenced to a year in prison by the Mansoura Juvenile Misdemeanour Courtfor protesting without a permit in front of the city council in Menyet El Nasr, Daqahleya.
Maryah Metwally Samaha’s trial took place on 30 January, where she was sentenced to a year in prison for protesting without a permit, while “the other two charges of vandalism and disturbing the general peace were denied by the court, but was released on a bail set at two thousand pounds, which her father paid,” according to Ahmed Meseilhy, legal consultant for the Egyptian Coalition on Children’s Rights.
“Samaha had been protesting in front of city hall on 18 December with her school friends, when a few of the people who worked at the council came out to stop them,” said Meseilhy.
Samaha, whom Meseilhy said had been leading the protest, was approached by one of the town council members, who “took her phone and found the Rabaa sign on it… prompting him to take her to the Menyet El Nasr police station, where she was detained for four days awaiting questioning. The girl stated that she was beaten in the station as well as being held with adult women.”
Meseilhy criticised the verdict “from a human rights point of view,” citing both “the roughness with which the Ministry of Interior deals with opposing points of view” and “[the ministry’s] lack of application of the Child Law.”
Egyptian police stations, Meseilhy said, are not equipped to ensure this law is respected, and proper care is not given to minors in custody. He said that the ECCR will be pushing to raise a complaint about “the crime of detaining a minor towards the one responsible for this incident.”
The prosecution was not available for comment.